As Juelz Santana remains in custody for allegedly keeping a loaded .38-caliber pistol and oxycodone pills in a bag containing his identification while in Newark Liberty International Airport on March 9, multiple outlets are reporting federal authorities will move forward with charges against Juelz.
Juelz—real name LaRon James—allegedly fled the airport via cab after security personnel found the loaded handgun and pills, and the Associated Press reports Juelz didn’t have a prescription for the oxycodone. The TSA states that weapons can only be transported in an airport if they are “unloaded and packed inside a hard sided firearm case.”
The Diplomats member pleaded not guilty to state charges of weapons possession and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. The Essex County prosecutor and the state prosecutor dismissed the charges and deferred federal authorities.
While conviction rates can vary from state to state, the news doesn’t bode particularly well for Juelz if the case moves forward. Last May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors to pursue the toughest possible sentences and charges against suspects. That move reversed efforts by the Obama administration to enact less harsh penalties for many, including nonviolent drug offenders.